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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Never Happier

Money can’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard this phrase—and similar idioms, platitudes, and cliches—before. We’ve heard them ad nauseam.

But the thing about platitudes is, well, they’re platitudes for a reason: they’re often true.

While it’s true that money can purchase certain necessary comforts (clothes, food, housing), and these comforts are a key ingredient in one’s recipe for a happy life, money alone will never make you happy. Not long term at least.

Take it from me and my first-hand authoritative experience—my empirical evidence, as it were. At age 31, I earn less money than I did at nineteen, but I’ve never been happier; I’ve also never been a better person than I am right now. My happiness is derived from my experiences, from my relationships, from my health—not from my income.

Minimalism has helped me realize that if I relinquish my need for expendable income, and if I can adjust my lifestyle to revolve around experiences instead of material possessions, then I need far less money to live a happy, fulfilled life. As long as I earn enough money to provide my basic needs—rent, utilities, meals, insurance, savings—then I can find my happiness in other ways.

Related reading: A Minimalist’s Thoughts on Money.